The Other Einstein
I have learned in the past couple of years to take better note of authors' names. Now, when I read a book I love, I research the author. Did they write anything else? Do their other novels sound interesting? What kinds of things do they write about. Many authors have multiple books that I enjoy (Marissa Meyer, Margaret Owen, and Leigh Bardugo included). You can check out my evaluation of great authors like these in a previous post. The ones I wrote about produced multiple award-winning, five-star (in my opinion) books.
But there are others that produce a plethora of good-quality (but perhaps not "five-star") books as well. Among these authors are Erin Craig, Nicholas Sparks, Kristin Harmel, and, of course, Marie Benedict.
Marie Benedict is the author of The Personal Librarian and The Other Einstein as well as a number of other books detailing the untold stories of women in history. Her heroines include Belle Marion Greene (personal librarian of J.P. Morgan); Mitza Maric (wife of Einstein); and Clara Kelley (Carnegie's maid). She also wrote the popular novel The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. According to Goodreads, she has published over 10 books since 2016, most of them historical fiction.
After reading (and loving) The Personal Librarian, this is the kind of research I did. I wanted to know if there were other stories by Marie Benedict that I could absorb (via literary osmosis).
Though there are a number of Benedict's books that interest me (I am sure to read them all eventually), it was The Other Einstein that captured my attention most and I was able to read the book less than a week before departing Redding, CA.
The Other Einstein tells the story of Mitza Maric (or Mrs. Einstein). It begins with Mitza starting school with Einstein, follows their tragic love story, and ends with their separation. The book isn't quite as historically accurate as The Personal Librarian but does use a lot of research to presume what might have happened between the two scientists.
I was previously aware of some of Mitza's story before reading this book but I was interested to learn more and come to understand what it might have been like for Miss. Maric in her world.
Those who have studied the history of Einstein and Mitza believe that Mitza helped Einstein in a lot of his work though, without more information, we can't know exactly how much she helped him. Did she come up with the famous equation? Did she write any of his papers? Did she contribute to the math or the physics or both?
Benedict takes a leap and presumes that Mitza contributed to the majority of Einstein's work after being forced out of college thanks to her gender, illegitimate child, and disability. Mitza faced struggle after struggle and yet, was an incredibly intelligent woman who deserved more credit than she got in her time. While the exact contributions she gave may never be known, we can be sure that she was a historical woman to admire.
I was impressed with the story of Mrs. Einstein written by Benedict. While the book is very historical and perhaps not as interesting as other historical fiction I have read, I loved the story, the characterization, and the insight it gave me into a historical figure and her husband. I highly suggest checking out the book if you enjoy history.
Books like this: The Personal Librarian; The Downstairs Girl; The Peacock Emporium; Every Word Unsaid